March 2009

Site Design

Do you have the purpose of your website sorted out? No? Then read the section on Planning. Do you have your content gathered together? No? Then read the section on Writing. What about some pictures and graphics? Yes! Then we are ready to talk about site design.

Design of a website takes two elements. The site plan determines how the various pages and pieces of content will be put together. The second part is the "look and feel" of each page of the website.

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Site Planning

Building without plans is never okay. Even a single page requires laying out in careful detail where all the pieces will go. Watching the mounting frustration in someone who is trying to use a poorly planned website will soon convince you that planning is worthwhile. At the ultimate extreme, the visitor will leave and never return.

To start planning is often the hardest part of building a website. Answering the following seven simple questions will give you a good start on the process.

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Web Writing

Writing for the Web is different. In a word -- it is about keywords. Most people want to be found on the web. That requires not just writing for the reader but also for the Search Engines. Finding the keywords that people search for and then writing pages that reflect those words is where sites begin.

Web surfers often have short attention spans, so you have to grab their attention with graphics and great text. In fact Jakob Nielson of Useit.com tells us that they don't read, they scan. If they want to read anything, they print it out but that's another issue.

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Blogging

Have questions about Blogs and RSS Feeds (or News feeds)? What about the little orange boxes with XML or RSS in them on some web sites?

Marketing

Whether you are a freelance writer or an independent contractor, smart marketing connects a product or service with a customer.

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Resources

"Professional Secrets"

Many times people ask me for advice which I know is easily available on the Internet. Rather than spend time rewriting information that is already there - here it is.

THIS IS SO OUT OF DATE. USE IT WITH CARE TILL I GET IT BACK UP TO MY USUAL HIGH STANDARDS.

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Hosting

The process of having a website should be as simple as possible.  To that end I provide hosting for a lot of my clients.

What you get is a local British Colombia phone number and someone who has done the research to find the best value possible.  These folks know what they are doing. That allows me to offer you a premium service at a very low cost.  Rates range from $20 to $35 a month. I ask for 6 months paid in advance.

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Services

At Pratt Web Services, we want to make it simple and easy for you to have a leading web site. We also recognize that you have never built a web site and want to know how to create an excellent web site. We work with you at your speed and at your interest and knowledge level. Our goal is to increase your sales by letting your customers know who you are, what you do, and the value of your product or services.